Soccer players and organic gardeners may peacefully coexist in Estero Park after all, thanks to a few creative neighbors. The kitchen-table sketches presented by Pegeen Soutar and her cohorts were greeted with enthusiasm not only by those intent on saving Estero Park’s 30-year-old organic gardens, but by soccer jersey-clad members of the public welcoming a multipurpose field suitable for soccer. Just one week earlier, the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District (IVRPD) board voted 3-2 to eliminate plans for the field – despite a $1 million soccer field grant from UCSB – in order to save the gardens, prompting director Logan Green to resign in frustration. Soutar’s plans, among other things, reduce the proposed community center from 30,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet by eliminating childcare facilities and a library, which is more in keeping with the original vision, according to neighbors. “The local community around Estero is really sort of in the driver’s seat on this one,” said IVRPD operations manager Jeff Yolles. The directors voted 4-0 to refer Soutar’s plans to the district’s design firm for public review on August 17.

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